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What is EGF? And What Does it Mean for Your Skincare?

If you have the extra cash and a desire to try exotic facials, EGF facials may be worth a try.

EGF facials are the hottest new beauty trend sweeping Hollywood, lauded by the likes of Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock. EGF is short for epidermal growth factor, a molecule derived in a Korean lab from human fibroblast cells. These progenitor cells, also known as stem cells, create firm, tight facial skin by helping to generate collagen and elastin. EGF cells are then formulated into a potent serum which is then applied deep into your skin using an electric micro-needling wand to achieve the maximum effect.

This unique $650 treatment, offered by Georgia Louise Atelier in New York City, promises to give you a red-carpet-level glow after only one facial. If you’re able to score an appointment (there is a two-year waiting list!), the process begins with a cleanse, followed by a trichloroacetic peel and micro-needling. A galvanic alginate mask is applied to hydrate and cool your skin and then the EGF serum is applied. Be prepared for at least 24 to 48 hours of recovery time after the experience.

Are EGF Facials Effective?

Although growth factor cells are widely used in the cosmetic industry, they tend to be plant-based rather than derived from human cells. For example, BioEffect's award-winning EGF Serum uses barley rather than human cells to engineer EGF. Stem cells have been proven to repair damaged tissue, including burns and wounds, and a study has shown that EGF applied topically through micro-needling can be a skin rejuvenator. EGF stem cells are thought to introduce new tissue to your face, releasing chemicals that reverse aging and promoting a more youthful complexion. In short, the EGF facial wouldn't harm your skin and you may see some positive effects.

What are the Alternatives?

If the idea of using cloned human cells on your face is a little offputting, you could try a vampire facial which involves harvesting concentrated growth factors from your own blood and applying them to your face for a "naturally sourced" experience. For the budget-conscious, EGF is also available in many beauty products for a much more reasonable price. Or you could always opt for a less expensive but proven way to reverse skin aging and achieve a youthful glow with lasers or tried and true retinol treatments.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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